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Sawa na sa nakasanayan: Poe wants ‘fresh’ faces as politikos

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Political dynasties “constrict” political and economic power in the hands of a few, Senator Grace Poe said on Monday.

“This is a disservice to a country that is as geographically and culturally diverse as ours,” she said.

Poe stressed this as she co-sponsored the passage of Senate Bill No. 1765 under Committee Report 367, or “An Act Prohibiting Political Dynasties.”

“How can a handful of families represent a country of 106 million Filipinos, who speak eight major languages, and who reside in 1,634 different cities and municipalities, based on the latest DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government) report?” she asked.

“Higit pa, dahil sa mga political families, hindi nakakaupo sa gobyerno ang mga pinakamagaling at pinakamatalinong mga Pilipino,” said Poe.

She added, “Maraming Pilipino ang gustong maglingkod, pero hindi kaya dahil ‘reserved’ na ang mga puwesto para sa kapatid, anak o asawa ng pulitiko.”

“We have a choice today,” said Poe who supported Senate Minority Leader Frank Drilon’s push for the passage of SBN 1765.

“We can stick to the status quo or we can take a step toward greater political and economic inclusion by immediately passing this measure,” she said.

It is common knowledge, she said, that from the largest province to the smallest barangay, there is a political family that has entrenched itself by undergoing a rigodon of public office every few years.

“Our country has been called an ‘Anarchy of Families.’ Pero sa totoo, I think politics in our country is more like a game of ‘Trip to Jerusalem’—si Mayor ay makikipagpalit kay Governor, si Board Member ay magiging Congressman,” Poe said.

And in doing so, the circle of available “seats” gets smaller every election cycle, the senator said.

This institutional design, according to her, has unfortunate consequences.

First, it leads to the concentration of decision-making powers in the hands of a few families. “Sila-sila na lang ang nagde-desisyon,” Poe said.

“This leads to a culture of ‘palakasan’ where preferential treatment is given to people who are close to those in power,” she said.

The net result is the degradation of public services and the underdevelopment of our country, she said.

“Hindi ko sinasabi na masama ang lahat ng political dynasties. Punung-puno ang ating kasaysayan ng mga apelyido ng mga Pilipino na nag-ambag sa ating bayan,” she said.

“Where would our country be without the leadership of the Osmeñas, Magsaysays, Rectos, and even the Sottos of generations past?” she said.

These are good names to remember in public service, she stressed.